In 2005, two young black girls came to Kimolyn Ferrell’s home. The girls were in awe over her accomplishments as a homeowner and businesswoman.
This experience inspired Ferrell to create Dare to Dream Young Girls Inc. Network. Dare to Dream provides young girls in the Tallahassee area a safe haven to dream big and believe in the impossible; through planned events, activities, workshops, educational enhanced tutoring and mentoring, Dare to Dream is enriching young girls in Tallahassee regardless of their background.
Ferrell’s goal is to provide mentorship to young girls in her community who desire opportunity but are not provided the exposure.
Dare to Dream initially started with 25 girls. Ferrell was able to enrich over 1,500 the first year. After 14 years, Ferrell typically serves 100 girls a year.
“It’s important to me that kids have an opportunity to extend their academics beyond the day to day school,” Ferrell said.
Jamie Parrish first became involved with Dare to Dream through her Youth in Government Girls program and later started volunteering. “We try to instill in them accountability, academic excellence and maturity,” said Parrish. “They put effort to improve when there is someone there who shows they care.”
Dare to Dream also provides emotional support services. Ferrell believes it is important to connect with the girls on an emotional level. Regardless of physical appearance, you are unable to tell what one may be going through on the inside or at home, Ferrell said.
“I notice a change in their confidence, focus and drive after attending Dare to Dream,” said Ferrell.
Shirley Jean-Pierre, a fourth-year biology student at Florida A&M University, has been volunteering with Dare to Dream since 2017. “The staff makes the environment comfortable and enriching from the academic field trips to the girl talks about confidence and self-love,” she said.
Ferrell attributes the organization’s growth to word of mouth and testimonials from parents when they speak of the progress their child has made. The longevity and sustainability of the child attending Dare to Dream allows parents to see their child’s vision come to life.
Dare to Dream offers an environment that promotes growth, motivation and open communication. It provides young girls with positive influences and successful women in everyday life. These women inspire the girls to someday reach the same heights through academics and their personal lives.
Ferrell provides the same amount of guidance, care and love for each and every girl who walks through her doors.
The Dream Cottage is located at 926 E. Park Ave.